PHILADELPHIA – An El Salvadoran MS-13 gang member, wanted for a 2009 murder in his home country, was deported for the third time Tuesday by officers with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) and turned over to law enforcement officials in El Salvador.
Jose Yuber Antonio Del Cid-Cruz, 31, who was residing in Falls Church, Va., was deported via ICE Air Operations April 2. In August 2009, Del Cid-Cruz, along with other known MS-13 gang members, allegedly shot and killed an individual in San Gerardo, El Salvador, and fled the scene.
Del Cid-Cruz was taken into ERO custody on March 1, following a 10-month prison sentence for his Aug. 16, 2012, conviction in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia for illegally re-entering the United States after deportation, his second conviction for this crime. ICE initially learned about the El Salvadoran warrant for his arrest at this time.
"Del Cid-Cruz repeatedly illegally entered the U.S., mistakenly believing he could commit crimes in this country and also escape justice in El Salvador," said Thomas Decker, field office director of ERO Philadelphia. "Criminals like Del Cid-Cruz, who endanger public safety, will be removed from the United States."
Del Cid-Cruz was first encountered by ICE after being arrested by a gang task force in Fairfax, Va., March 7, 2004, on immigration charges. On March 10, 2004, he was taken into ICE custody and subsequently ordered removed by an immigration judge, on the basis that he was an illegal alien convicted in 2002 of a crime involving moral turpitude. Del Cid-Cruz was convicted of numerous criminal offenses in Virginia. ICE removed him from the United States for the first time May 7, 2004.
In 2009, Del Cid-Cruz again illegally re-entered the United States and was arrested by ICE Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) special agents in Maryland. He was convicted Oct. 6, 2010, in federal court of illegal re-entering the United States after deportation. Following his sentence, he was taken into ERO custody and deported to El Salvador Dec. 15, 2010.
Del Cid-Cruz again illegally re-entered the United States in 2011. In March 2012, HSI received information that Del Cid-Cruz was residing in northern Virginia and was the leader of the Silvas Locos Salvatruchas (SLS) clique of MS-13. On June 6, 2012, Del Cid-Cruz was arrested by HSI and was convicted in federal court of illegal re-entry, for the second time.
ERO officers turned Del Cid-Cruz over to El Salvadoran law enforcement authorities April 2 upon his arrival at the Comalapa International Airport in San Salvador, El Salvador. He will now face charges for the 2009 murder.
Since Oct. 1, 2009, ERO has removed more than 566 foreign fugitives from the United States who were being sought in their native countries for serious crimes, including kidnapping, rape and murder. ERO works with ICE Homeland Security Investigations' Office of International Affairs, foreign consular offices in the United States and Interpol to identify foreign fugitives illegally present in the country.